“Getting to know your Chapter President” 

By Linda Kops, Lan-Way Roofing Co., Inc.

 What an absolute pleasure it was for me to share lunch with Craig Youst and discover more about the man behind the engaging smile and warm personality. I found Craig to be delightful, intelligent, and energetic on a day that reached 112 degree heat index!  You will most certainly learn a few things about Craig you may not have known before by reading this segment of the newsletter. I wish for Craig the very best things in the coming year as IFMA’s Greater Triangle Chapter President!

 1 ) Describe what makes you a successful CFM? 

Being a successful CFM requires organizational skills, flexibility, problem-solving capabilities, and knowledge.  IFMA allows me to continuously develop those skill sets so I can positively influence the management of our global facilities at Red Hat.


2 ) When did you realize Facility Management was a career you wanted to pursue?

Ever since a young age, I wanted to be an Architect and as a result, the maintenance and function of buildings has always intrigued me. I knew this would create a career path I wanted to follow.


3 ) What is the most challenging aspect of your job?

The most challenging aspect of my job at Red Hat involves globalization – creating consistent, cost-effective facilities that represent our global brand yet appeal to the local culture.  Since over 50% of our revenue comes from international sources, thinking globally and acting locally are critical steps to the continued success of Red Hat.


4 ) How has IFMA influenced your career?

IFMA has had tremendous influence on my career because it has provided me educational opportunities to always stay connected to the profession, has provided me networking opportunities to engage with other knowledgeable facilities professionals, has introduced me to global partners who help us build cost-effective and efficient operations, and has helped our raising standards at Red Hat by benchmarking against other Best-in-Class companies.


5 ) What goals as the recently elected IFMA Triangle Chapter President do you wish to accomplish in the year ahead?

We have a number of key initiatives that we are focused on this year: 

  • Raise net membership levels by 5+% and put greater emphasis on Professional vs. Associate member ratios
  • Increase Sponsorship Revenue by 15+%
  • Invite a National Speaker to share Best-in Class insight with our membership
  • Plan the largest Networking event in Chapter history 
  • Host the Academic Facilities Council Spring Event and educate members on the many benefits of IFMA councils
  • Deliver educational opportunities to increase CFMs, FMPs, and SFPs in our Chapter
  • Ensure maximum value is being delivered to all our members.


 6 ) What has been your proudest moment, personally or professionally?

Personally, my proudest moment is being a good Father every day to my two daughters. Professionally, my proudest moment is being the first Facilities & Real Estate Management employee for Red Hat eleven years ago, and since then building a global team of over 80 Real Estate, Facilities, and Workplace Strategy professionals in 70+ offices and 35 countries.  


7 ) List 3 words that best describe you?

Loyal, Committed, Genuine


8 ) What are your interests outside of work?

College Basketball (Go HEELS!), the beach, socializing with friends, fast roller coasters.


9 ) Who has been your role model?

My Mom. My Father died when I was three and my Mom had to raise five kids single-handedly (me being the youngest). My Mom taught us the value of commitment and hard work, and to pursue goals no matter what the challenge.


10 )  What is your most prized possession?  

My family is my most prized possession although materialistically, I have an autographed 2009 UNC National Championship Basketball signed by the entire team. 


11 )  What is the best piece of advice you have ever received?

The best piece of advice I have received is that every person has value to contribute and a strong influencer gives them the confidence to share it.


12 )  If you had to speak to an auditorium full of High School students on any subject, what one subject would you talk about that would be helpful to their futures? 

I would caution them to not take anything for granted and to remember that every person they meet is an opportunity to build a relationship.